UK: Scrapping amber list can boost air travel

 Saturday, September 18, 2021 

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The relaxation of UK travel restrictions will give airlines a “shot in the arm”, an industry group has said.

Airlines UK has welcomed the government simplifying the UK traffic light system and reducing testing requirements. It said it “moves us much closer to the reopening of UK aviation”.

The Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said the changes would enable more people to travel around the world.

From 4 October the amber and green lists will be scrapped in England, leaving a single red list that has been downsized. The people who have had both jabs will not need to take a pre-departure test before leaving any country not on the red list. They will also be able to replace the day two PCR test with a cheaper, rapid lateral flow test.

Tim Alderslade, chief executive of Airlines UK, said that this is a positive step which moves us much closer to the reopening of UK aviation and provides greater reassurance to passengers desperate to travel.

By reducing the number of red list destinations and scrapping PCR testing, ministers have paved the way for people to get away this October half-term and into the winter following 18 months of uncertainty. It will provide a real shot in the arm for a sector that until now has not been allowed to trade properly.

Thomas Cook, another travel operator said it expected the coming weekend to be its best for sales in 2021, adding that customers “are booking in droves.

David Child, head of PR and brand at the travel firm said that based on their bookings already today, he would expect this weekend to be the biggest of the year so far as people take advantage of the great deals on offer, the new easier rules on testing and the simplified system for international travel.

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